I didn't realize what had happened to me until I was 19, and sat in a child safeguarding training session as part of my summer job. As we went through the different types of abuse children suffer, a shiver was sent up my spine. I guess that's normal for someone who is learning of the horrors that children can go through; neglect, domestic abuse, physical abuse, online abuse. And sexual abuse.

I had obviously omitted what had happened within my memory as I got older, as I subconsciously realized that what had happened wasn't normal, or right. Whilst sat on this bench surrounded by 50 other young people learning about these horrendous acts, I realized that I had been sexually abused. To me, this oddly made sense.

I had always been the black sheep of my family, and I'd always wanted to run away from them, as far away as I could be. I had flashbacks of what had happened, a not-so-innocent game of 'doctors and nurses' with my cousin. I must have been about 7/8 years old, but I honesty can't remember, I remember in images. I have told someone in the past, and he brushed this off as 'kids being kids', which in some twisted way could be true, but my cousin is 10 years older than me. I have flashbacks of him, pulling my pants down and touching me - he made it a game, he made it 'fun', I'm disgusted to say I didn't know better.

This went on for a while, I remember it happening whenever I went to visit my aunties house - I'm not sure if I even remember my auntie finding out but doing nothing, but my memory evades me. I don't remember a lot, and that scares and scars me more to some extent - if he was happy to make it a game to touch me in places he had no right too, what else have I forgotten?! I see him every year. At Christmas, at birthdays, whenever I get dragged to visit my aunty. And every single time I grin and bear it. No one in my family knows, in fact, this is probably only the fifth time I've talked about it, I'm now 23. I think about telling my family, about get getting some sort of justice, but who's going to believe the black sheep of the family about something that happened as a child, something I can't even remember properly. I shake and shiver whenever I think about it, I have flashbacks at the most idiotic and unhelpful times, and issues when it comes to men. I guess that's just something I have to live with for the rest of my life, but it's nice to finally say it, we'll type it, out loud. Thank you.